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Video: Californians and Their Government

Mary Severance November 25, 2019
photo - The White House in Washington DC

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders continue to lead the field in California’s primary race. Most Californians say President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, though views are mixed on how Democrats in Congress are handling the impeachment inquiry. In Sacramento last Wednesday, PPIC researcher Alyssa Dykman outlined these are other key findings from PPIC’s latest statewide survey, which was conducted before the November 20 debate.

Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning likely voters, support for Joe Biden (24%), Elizabeth Warren (23%), and Bernie Sanders (17%) is much higher than for Kamala Harris (8%), Pete Buttigieg (7%), and Andrew Yang (5%). No other candidate is preferred by more than 1%, while 9% say they don’t know which candidate they would choose.

Views on impeachment are divided along party lines: 83% of Democrats, 51% of independents, and 11% of Republicans think the president should be impeached and removed from office. Democrats are also much more likely than independents or Republicans to approve of the way the inquiry is being handled in Congress.

In other news, most Californians are concerned about wildfires (34% very, 29% somewhat) and power shutoffs (32% very, 27% somewhat). Governor Newsom gets mixed reviews for his handling of these issues: 46% of adults and 42% of likely voters approve, while 39% of adults and 46% of likely voters disapprove. Only about a third of Californians have either a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in their utility providers.

Other survey highlights:

  • Six in ten Californians (61% adults, 63% likely voters) say things in the US are generally going in the wrong direction, but about half think the nation will have good times financially over the next 12 months.
  • Nearly two-thirds of adults (63%) say California is divided into the “haves” and the “have nots”; 41 percent say they are haves, while 44 percent see themselves as have nots.
  • Most Californians are very concerned about homelessness in their communities; majorities across regions say the number of homeless people in their local community has increased over the past 12 months.
  • A potential citizens’ initiative that would raise state income taxes on the wealthiest Californians to fund K–12 public schools has majority support. Fewer than half of likely voters favor two other measures—a school construction bond and a “split roll” property tax—that would benefit the K–12 system.
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